Srinagar: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday vowed to take action against evidence shared by India on last week’s Pulwama militant attack that killed 49 CRPF personnel and injured several others.
In a video message, the Pakistan PM said he had wanted to respond to the attack right away because Delhi had accused Pakistan of having a hand in it, “but we had a very important visit from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, we had an investment conference happening that we had been preparing for for a long time,” he explained. “Therefore I decided not to respond then, because the attention would have been diverted away from the visit and onto this issue.”
“This is why I am responding, now that the crown prince has left. And this is for the Indian government,” he said.
“First of all, you accused Pakistan. [There was] no evidence. You never thought, ‘What would be in it for Pakistan?’,” he said. “Would a fool even do such a thing to sabotage his own conference? And even if he [the crown prince] wasn’t visiting, what benefit would Pakistan get from it?”
“Why would Pakistan at this stage, when it is moving towards stability ─ we have fought a war against terrorism for 15 years, 70,000 Pakistanis lost their lives, terrorism is receding, peace and stability are returning ─ what benefit would we get from it?” he asked.
“You want to remain stuck in the past, and each time an incident happens in Kashmir, you want to hold Pakistan responsible and ─ instead of trying to resolve the Kashmir issue, starting a dialogue or moving forward ─ make Islamabad your whipping boy again and again,” the prime minister said, addressing Delhi, Dawn reported.
“I am telling you clearly, this is Naya Pakistan. It is a new mindset, a new way of thinking. We believe that it is in our interest that our soil is not used for carrying out attacks in other countries, nor do we want outsiders to come and carry out attacks here. We desire stability,” he asserted.
“Today, I would like to make the Indian government an offer. Any sort of investigation you wish carried out regarding this incident about the involvement of any Pakistani, we are ready. If you have any actionable intelligence that a Pakistani is involved. Give it to us. I guarantee you we will take action ─ not because we are under pressure, but because they are acting as enemies of Pakistan.”
“If someone is using Pakistan’s soil, it is enmity with us. It is against our interests.”
The prime minister added that whenever Pakistan tries to initiate dialogue with India, Delhi’s precondition is that terrorism must be talked about.
“We are ready to talk about terrorism. Terrorism is a regional issue […] we want terrorism in the region to end,” he stated. “Pakistan has been the worst affected by terrorism […] Therefore, we are ready to talk with you.”